Here (in a slightly revised new format) is our traditional match preview – our quick guide to Vale’s next opponents, Crewe Alexandra…
Micky Adams’ main decision would appear to be in central defence. Richard Duffy (right) impressed standing in for the ill Liam Chilvers on Saturday and could keep his place. Adams could also opt to start with goalscorer Jordan Hugill in place of Ben Williamson, but he is perhaps more likely to name an unchanged starting eleven. Dan Jones continues to be ruled out of contention.
Crewe have brought in Fulham goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and he is expected to make his debut against the Valiants. Otherwise, Steve Davis is expected to ring the changes after the disappointing cup exit to Wycombe in midweek.
Predicted Vale Starting XI:
Yates, Robertson, Duffy, Dickinson
Myrie-Williams, Griffith, Lines, Loft
“This is a local derby match. Teams and players generally raise their games. Steve will have done his homework on us and I have done mine on them. Now, it is all about the players performing.”
– Micky Adams
“I fully expect Crewe to put on a performance after their recent run of results and I know that the manager will have them fired up, he needs to get them fired up because need to realise what sort of game they are going in to. We will have a big following there and that gives us a lot of confidence. Our fans are one of the strengths of this football club and to take so many to Crewe and dominate the ground is pleasing as a Vale player.”
– Adams Yates
“They [the players] know how important it is to the supporters and for everyone associated with the club. All of them want to play in this type of game and atmosphere. A good performance and result might just be the spur we need to turn things around. There is no better confidence boost than winning a derby game.”
– Steve Davis
Last time we met
The two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Vale Park. Vale took a lead through a Dave Artell (right) own-goal (he was later to join and promptly leave the Valiants) while Byron Moore’s 80th minute strike secured a point for Crewe.
- Vale wins: 32
- Crewe wins: 16
- Draws: 21
Last time we…
Won at the Alexandra Stadium was back in 2009 when goals from Marc Richards and Kris Taylor (right) earned Vale a 2-1 league victory. The two visits to Crewe since that win have resulted in a Crewe victory and a draw.
Naturally a lot of attention will be on Tom Pope as he spearheads the Vale attack. Pope progressed through the Crewe junior ranks to make his debut in 2006. He subsequently made 38 starts (plus 26 sub appearances) scoring 17 times. After a disastrous spell at Rotherham, he moved to Vale in 2011, initially on loan, and has now netted 48 times for the Vale. Would this be the perfect game to make it 50?
Adam Yates also started his career at Crewe although he failed to make a senior appearance before he was released in 2004.
Other players to appear for both sides include Gary Roberts, Marc Richards, Stuart Tomlinson, Luke Rodgers, Ashley Westwood, Phil Charnock, Dave Brammer (pictured right), Tony Naylor, Richard Walker, Sagi Burton, Lee Matthews, Paul Bowles, Tommy Cheadle, Arthur Bateman, Herbert Birchenought, Roy Gater, Neil Griffiths, Terry Harkin, George Hickson, Geoff Hunter, Bert Llewellyn, Joe Maloney, Bob Mountford, Neil Wilkinson, Derek Mountford, Ron Smith, Stan Smith and Kevin Tully.